In season one of Curbed’s podcast, Nice Try! Utopian, host Avery Trufelman tells the stories behind the world’s most fascinating communities, from an enclosed bubble of environmentalists to the first American “company town” to 19th-century spiritual sects. Many of these utopian attempts started with noble intentions to solve problems of nature, government, or religion—issues still relevant to people seeking answers about how to live in the world today.
Avery Trufelman is an Oakland, California-based producer on Radiotopia’s 99% Invisible. Trufelman is also the host of 99PI’s Articles of Interest, a capsule series looking into what we wear and why, which was deemed a best podcast of 2018 by the BBC, New York Magazine, and the New Yorker.
Subsequent seasons of Nice Try! will explore the search for an idealized living environment through a variety of scales, from neighborhoods to specific buildings to goods. Each episode will address a specific thing that has “failed”—infrastructure, buildings, household inventions—and explain how it embodies a broader cultural issue.
The Curbed Appeal is a podcast about where people live, and the things they’re obsessed with at every scale—from garbage cans to skyscrapers. A cast of Curbed staffers connects architecture and design to pop culture, news, and politics in conversations with guests like architect Daniel Libeskind, Call Your Girlfriend co-host Aminatou Sow, Pentagram partner Natasha Jen, and filmmaker Gary Hustwit. The series finale aired in November 2016.